Project reflections from Fundación Compromiso: Social innovation to boost the creative economy

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Fundación Compromiso is a non-profit organisation with a solid profile in social innovation that walked its way into the creative economy hand in hand with Creativity, Culture & Capital: Impact investing in the global creative economy (CCC). We had the immense privilege to partner with organisations of the stature of Upstart Co-Lab and Nesta, representing the Latin America share. Our deep gratitude to Laura Callanan, Francesca Sanderson, Sarah Lang, Racheal Bull, Sarah East, Louisa Shanks, Jenny Jacoby, Paula Silva, Josefina Derrider and Jeannine Emery, with whom we shaped, designed, reflected and dreamt about the CCC. What a massive learning and what big thanks to our international colleagues for co-creating a global conversation about the potential and the opportunities of the creative sector.

Our profound gratitude as well to all the essay authors for their unique perspectives, for believing in the project from scratch – and most of all for the significant contribution each one of you is making to the development and expansion of the global creative economy. A special note also about the unique experience of conducting a global research study during the pandemic. We knew in those first quarantine months that the report was going to inspire and deliver concrete examples of how creativity and culture could help build back better from Covid-19.

The 2022 edition of the UNESCO World Conference on Cultural Policies and Sustainable Development – MONDIACULT 2022 aims to affirm culture as a ‘global public good’, underlining its value as a cornerstone of our societies, natural resources and economies. This is very good news for the sector: culture and development are being read together, and therefore efforts will be put into measurement. Launching this collection of essays showcasing global initiatives in the creative economy at the beginning of 2021, the UN International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development, helped to bring the impact investing perspective into the creative sustainable development agenda.

The Latin American chapter was an adventure, because we had to scout case by case. Fundación Compromiso was defining its own impact investing strategy along with the learnings of connecting impact capital to the creative economy. The Creativity at Work section of the collection, which explores the impact the creative economy has on every aspect of our lives, felt most suited to us from the beginning, with the social focus giving us the scope to draw together a first regional creative impact investing constellation.

In Latin America, the extra challenge was that the region is made up of 33 very different countries, with different currencies, very different scales and some with very recent democracies. It is in this context, and in a region where the largest cause of excess mortality is violence, that we started to ask ourselves who was funding those artists and cultural entrepreneurs who were delivering innovation and the creative solutions that uplift lives and enhance our environment.

Creativity, Culture and Capital gave us the opportunity to explore the creative ecosystem and highlight those working for good. It allowed us to amplify the stories of some of the most amazing and interesting players in our creative ecosystem and meet and greet them in one global publication.

But the big jump came with the translation of the entire collection into Spanish – a gesture that was a great support to the Latin American impact investing and creative community. It is quite something to be involved in a project where you get to feel the pulse of a growing movement. Of course, some countries in the region are leading the creative transformation, but collecting these stories enabled us to understand where the energy of the creative economy is coming from, and the concerns and challenges we need to address. Although tickets are still small in Latin America, we can extrapolate and visualise the positive trend.

For Fundación Compromiso, Creativity, Culture and Capital is a spark that places Argentina and the region in a pipeline position. We strongly believe the CCC community has started a global movement that will connect its members and build better. Fundación Compromiso maintains its commitment to scaling creative startups and companies driven by graduates of the Potrero Digital Learning Centre. May Creativity, Culture and Capital continue to evolve into a living resource and community platform that connects investors, innovative artists and cultural entrepreneurs worldwide.

Project reflections from Upstart Co-Lab: Impact capital for an inclusive creative economy